Wednesday, March 7, 2018

[Review] Mute

Duncan Jones made waves with the indie sci-fi hit Moon and then followed it with the serviceable, time-altering thriller Source Code. I won't talk about 2016's Warcraft movie, but anyway, the director has returned with a passion project called Mute, which recently premiered on Netflix. It's an ambitious but unfortunately sloggy sci-fi noir that never amounts to anything worth investing in.

Set in a futuristic world (let's just say there are a lot of sex robots, and everything is delivered by drone), we meet Leo (Alexander Skarsgard), a reserved fellow of habit who's been left mute from a boating accident as a child. When his blue-haired girlfriend Naadirah (Seyneb Saleh) suddenly goes missing, he's tasked with putting together the puzzle pieces in order to track her down.

Prepare for a whole lot of nothing. Seriously, over 30 minutes go by without anything of significance happening. And it moves frustratingly slow. It's as if the film were developing at the pace of a soon-to-be-canceled series pilot instead of a succinct two-hour composition. And once any semblance of a narrative does kick in, it's insanely dull and derivative, like a Blade Runner-lite. Like, super lite. The entire thing has a streak of muddled ugliness, and it's riddled with odd choices.

As for the good, the film is decently shot, glowing with extravagant detail, techno style visuals, and that always appealing use of neon lighting. But the cyberpunk backdrop never really informs the story as much as it should -- it's just kind of there. The highlights of it all are the film's scuzzy suspects, played by Paul Rudd in full sleaze mode and Justin Theroux ("The Leftovers"). They're the only performers that add any sense of energy or personality to this thing. But in an awkward move, they rarely actually connect to the plot's main thread, and the film comes off like two separate stories running alongside each other. And that's really indicative of the Mute itself -- nothing ever really gels together. In fact, Paul Rudd's mustache is the most amusing thing about the whole movie.

Along the way, I kept asking myself what the point of any of it was. And by the end, well, there really isn't one.

( 3.5/10 )

Be sure to Like Fade to Zach on Facebook!
And Follow me on Twitter: @Fade_to_Zach

No comments:

Post a Comment